I don't think my dad has ever received a store-bought card from me. Starting when I was a kid, I've always drawn his card--he's the only one in the family who gets these goofy things--and the tradition continued yesterday with the mailing of his 2013 Father's Day card and care package. Each year's Father's Day and birthday cartoon reflects some current in-joke or happening between us. This year's was a depiction of him proudly standing beside the mantel he built for me and Mike. He is, of course, clad in a Pirates baseball t-shirt and denim cut-off shorts. (This is what he's almost always wearing in my drawings. It's part of the tradition.)
Another--and more integral-part of the hand-drawn card tradition is my tagline on the back: "Val-Mark: ♥ When you care enough to make the very best." I considered that pretty clever when I thought of it as a kid. Now, it's just tradition, and tradition must be upheld! Dad knows it will always be there on the back of all of his cards from me.
This year's card was nestled in a shoe box between a letter and some recent photos, a couple wrapped gifts, and a bunch of edibles. An Almond Joy or Mounds bar appears somewhere in all his birthday and holiday gifts from me. Once when I was staying with my grandparents for a few days in the summer, the day my parents were to pick me up happened to be my dad's birthday, and my grandmother asked me as we were out shopping the day before what I'd like to get my dad for his gift. She just smiled as I went to a checkout line to grab a candy bar, and I overheard her telling my dad the next day, "I asked Val what she wanted to get you for your birthday, and she said she always gives you one of those?" She sounded bemused, but I wasn't embarassed as I listened-in because Dad's response was something along the lines of a kindly laughing "Well, yes, it's tradition." ♥
Dad's Beagle-and-heart-covered shoe box is winging its way toward him as I type this and should reach him tomorrow. And until his August birthday rolls around, the Val-Mark greeting card industry has again closed up shop. ♥